So we’ve hit a bit of a rough patch. But what team/individual doesn’t? The NCAA Tournament resumes today, so let’s restart our winning ways.

The Match-Up: Xavier Musketeers(26-8) vs. Kansas State Wildcats(28-7)

This Sweet 16 pairing is a re-match from earlier this season. Kansas State knocked off Xavier, 71-56. Both Jacob Pullen(KSU) and Jordan Crawford(XU) scored 16 points in the contest. Kansas State pulled away from the Musketeers late in the contest, having a lead as large as 17.

Both teams played sloppily in that contest. Kansas State only shot 24% from 3-point range while Xavier wasn’t any better, nailing only 29% of their threes. The teams shot 60% collectively from the foul line and the game featured 57 total fouls. K-State out-rebounded Xavier, 39-30. This is the type of slow, grinding game that Kansas State wants to play against a smaller Xavier front court.

For Xavier to win, they must slow down Kansas State guard, Jacob Pullen. Pullen has averaged 24 points in his first two NCAA tournament games. However, Pullen’s past two games against Xavier have left him even more motivated to play. Kansas State was embarassed by Xavier in 2007, losing by 26 points. That loss was their motivation earlier in the season and will be again tonight.

Overall, Kansas State’s front court of Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels should be too physical for the Musketeers. Look for Pullen to stop Jordan Crawford as K-State rolls into the Elite 8.

The Pick: Kansas State (28-7)

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March Record: 15-9

Photo Credit: blogs.kansas.com